Friday, May 8, 2020

From Inspiration to Real Life

A few weeks ago, I did a Monday Morning Inspiration post on items that I thought would make great outfits for at home wear, especially since we are all spending so much time at home. I absolutely fell in love with the outfit below from Maria Pinto, so much so that I just had to try and recreate it. At least use it for inspiration for something that I would truly wear. 

I had a fabulous navy blue knit lace, and a solid navy knit. Score! As you can see, I used the Maria Pinto piece as inspiration, but didn't copy it exactly. I like sleeves, and knew that I would wear the piece more often if it had sleeves. 

If you look closely at the Maria Pinto piece, it looks like the top is strapless. That I knew for sure I would not enjoy. For my top, I used a pattern from Naughty Bobbins Patterns, the Summer Solstice Bra Top. The pattern has a built in shelf bra, so no need for a bra!!! The leggings are the Loveland Leggings from Sew News. 

I absolutely love the back of the Summer Solstice Top.

I included this picture just to give you an idea of how the lace will look once it's on the body. 

I did not use a pattern for the lace dress/tunic, but there are lots of swingy dress patterns on the market. McCall's 8062  would work well, just cut off the points at the hemline.

Pictures of me in the outfit will come soon. I had so much fun putting this together. The pieces will mix and match with a number of other garments. So, I think I will be wearing this quite a bit this spring/summer.

Have you been inspired by a particular garment? I would love to hear about it! Leave a comment in the message section, or email me :)
Happy Sewing!!!

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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday Brunch and Me Made May

Regardless of the fact that at least at the moment, one day feels about the same as another, I've made a conscious decision to keep Sundays special. I get up, shower and dress just as if I will be going to church. In a round about way, I do "go" to church as I listen and watch one of my favorite service online, and I make a lovely breakfast for my husband and me. 

A little over a year ago, I posted a recipe for spinach and rice cakes, and called them Patty Cake Rice Cakes. If I may say so myself, these things are delicious! When I make rice, I always make more than we can eat in one sitting. Rice is comfort food for me, I will have it for lunch with vegetables and hot peppers, I'll pour a little almond milk over a bowl of rice, sprinkle it with cinnamon and a packet of Stevia, heat it in the microwave, and I have dessert. So, a pot of rice never goes to waste in my house. But, my favorite item to make with leftover rice is the spinach and rice cake recipe. The cakes can be made up, and then frozen before cooking. Just take out what you would like, let them thaw a bit, and you'll have a fresh meal in relatively no time. I recently made up a batch, so we had rice cakes with poached eggs for breakfast this morning. So good!

I served the rice cakes with tomatoes that I broiled in the oven with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. Just before removing them from the oven, I sprinkled the tomatoes with some grated parmesan cheese. Lastly, I sliced some avocado, and we had a fabulous breakfast. 

My little challenge of dressing each and everyday is going well. What hasn't been going well is remembering to take pictures :/ But, I decided to participate in Me Made May 2020 as an added incentive. We're only 3 days into May, but...so far so good, or at least, better :) 

On Saturday, April 23rd, I wore an 8-gored skirt that I drafted and made quite some time ago. You can see the original post with directions on how to draft an 8-gore skirt HERE. Since I made the skirt, I cut the points off the hem. The top is one that you've seen with the pants from the Simplicity pattern. This is Simplicity 9017. I like the top, but the neckline really needs interfacing in order for the neckline to sit as it does on the pattern. The instructions do not call for interfacing, so if you decide to give the pattern a go, use a little interfacing in the neckline.   

Last Sunday, April 26th, I wore a little skirt that was made from my leftover fabric after cutting a pair of pants. The border print on this fabric was on both ends of the selvedge, so all I had to do was cut the remnant in half, add an elastic casing, and voila! I had a skirt. It was rather cool last Sunday, so I wore a pair of tights. They look black, but they were navy blue. I paired the skirt with the Molly Tee from Pattern Union. The quilted vest was found in a resale shop.      

I missed getting pictures taken from Monday-Wednesday, but I got back on the wagon by Thursday. The pants were made from the same fabric as the above skirt. Just a basic pair of elastic waist pants. The flowy top is a pattern hack. I used the Helen's Closet Elliot Sweater and Tee pattern. The front was lengthened, a yoke added to the back, along with an inverted center back pleat. I also added a scoop hemline to the back. The top just floats so nicely around the body. So nice for those days when you want to look nice, but be really comfortable.     

Last Wednesday, I was so pleasantly surprised by the loveliest email. A sweet woman by the name of Chris emailed and said,

"your knowledge and designs have given me a great deal of fun and sewing pleasure, and I would like to give something back. It would give me a great deal of pleasure to gift you the Presto Popover Top pattern from Naughty Bobbins Patterns."

How could I refuse??? The next morning the pattern was in my inbox. I promptly downloaded it, taped it together, and preceded to get a garment made. I SO love this pattern. It's super easy to make, goes together in a jiffy, and looks great on the body. Once I get something made, I just have to wear it. The skirt that I'm wearing is from an out of print McCall's pattern. I saw it posted on Instagram, thought it was so cute, and found a pattern on Etsy. This is the second skirt I've made from the pattern. It's McCall's 6081. There are patterns available on Etsy and Ebay if you think that you might like to have one for yourself :)

Saturdays feel like days that should be a little(a lot more!)more casual. I have no idea why :/ Anyway, I threw on my favorite black leggings, the Avery Leggings from Helen's Closet, and a Tonic Tee from SBCC. If you sign up for the newsletter, the pattern is FREE!!! The pattern is new and improved with expanded sizes as well as a cute little puffy sleeve. 

I just couldn't resist...I loved the Presto Popover Top so much that I decided to make a dress. Truth be told, I actually cut the dress before I cut the top. Shame on me as I did not read the instructions before cutting. As it turns out, I needed 2 fronts. So, I wasn't able to match the pattern down center front. Oh well. I still like the dress so very much. Super comfortable. I also lengthened the sleeves as I get cold so easily. A nice piece for a Sunday, although I'm going no where :( On both the top and the dress, I used the more modest notch for the front opening. There are 2 possibilities with the other being a little lower. I think that on my next make I'll give the lower  neckline a try as it will show off a necklace a little better.  

I spoke with a friend recently. She is having a very difficult time, trying to work full time from home, and then deal with 3 young boys. Two of the boys are in school, and the other is a toddler. I really don't know how she is managing to do it!!! While I appreciate the effort that is being made by healthcare providers, the fire department, police officers, paramedics, and all of those who are trying to help keep fresh food in our grocery stores; all of those who are struggling with trying to work, home school their children, and keep some sanity in their homes, they too are heroes. More than heroes, Superheroes!  A friend of mine is taking at least an hour a day to be online with her granddaughter. They talk, color, and play games. She even picked out patterns and fabric and allowed her granddaughter to help her design some new outfits for the child. It gives her daughter a break that she can look forward to everyday. I'm sure it's quite a gift. The word superhero has taken on a whole new meaning for me. But, I think most moms have always been Superheroes :) 

Have a wonderful week!
BTW, if you would like to follow my #idressformechallenge on Instagram, you can find me HERE.

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Monday Morning Inspiration/Casual Inspiration for at Home Wear

Over the weekend, I talked to a friend. It was great to reconnect. During the course of the conversation, she commented on my recipe posts, and asked if I will be getting back to them. I also received another note from someone who has followed the blog for quite sometime. She told me how much she enjoys the blog, and how much she has missed my "regular" posts. An apology is in order. I've been cooking, a LOT!!! And too, I still look for inspiration. It's just that I haven't been sharing. 

This past week, I thought of 2 of my favorite designers, and wondered if there would be a spring collection. Since the collections are typically done a year in advance, I hoped that there would be, and thankfully, there is a spring collection for both Carolina Herrera and Maria Pinto(a Chicago based designer).

As I looked through their collections, what inspired me the most were pieces that would translate into everyday wear. Things that I will enjoy whether I'm out and about...or not.

This palazzo pant from Carolina Herrera reminded me so much of the Winslow Culottes from Helen's Closet. 

This tiered evening skirt is not something most of us would wear at home, but it reminded me of the Phoebe Maxi from Pattern Union.     

This fabulous little dress screams spring, and works beautifully with flats or sandals. Love the appliqued flowers along the bottom. 

For something rather fresh, this mix of plaids is quite fun!

How could one not be happy with the mix of polka dots???

Maria Pinto has incorporated mesh into her collection, and I LOVE it!!! A mesh dress over a pair of tights and a tank, such fun!

Here she used the mesh on the back of a jacket. Would look super cute with a fun print tank underneath.

I'm really loving knee length shorts. The picture on the right shows how easy the outfit can be to wear in a more casual manner. 

This asymmetrical skirt is so flirty. The lantern sleeve turns what would be a rather boring t-shirt into something much more interesting. You can find my tutorial on the lantern sleeve HERE.

Nothing could be more simple to throw on than a lightweight denim dress with a center front zipper. The pockets make it all the better for keeping your cell phone handy. 

I hope that a few of the pieces have inspired you. I can't wait to get into the studio and pump out a few new pieces! 

If you know of patterns that closely resemble some of the pieces I've shared, let me know in the comments, and I will share them on the blog.

Wishing you a lovely week :)

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Blessings In The Storm, and the Challenge Continues

Maybe it has something to do with life getting rather small, that our days, for now, aren't filled with all the typical must dos, but I've thought so much of my grandmother. She looms large in my life, from her love of cooking for others, her love of opening her home to guests, to how she dressed. Without fail, she got up every morning and dressed impeccably. She always wore a dress. I once asked her if she had ever worn a pair of pants. She said that during WWII, while working, she had, but was never really comfortable. So once she was able to resume her normal daily activities, she went back to wearing a dress...everyday of her life. 

Over the last few weeks of my little challenge, I've thought of how my grandmother would feel about the "effort" that I am making to get dressed each and everyday. On one hand, I think she would be quite proud, but then, she was always so proud of me :) On the other hand, I think she would ask me why it has become a challenge :/

Last Wednesday I wore my Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns. After I made my first pair, I decided that I had purchased my last pair of jeans. I absolutely love this pattern. I paired the jeans with a self-drafted knit top. And of course, my best accessory, Mr. Berkley :)

I'm missing pictures from Thursday, April 16 through Sunday April 19th, but I will recreate them with the exception of Saturday. I spent most of the day in the bed with a sick headache. Oh well.

Skipping forward to Monday, I wore my cargo pants. Such a great pair of pants to wear when I have some shopping to do. I throw my phone and credit card into my pockets, and then I am completely hands free at the grocery store. You can see my original post about the pants HERE. I paired the pants with a t-shirt that I made from a repurposed thrift store find. I used the Molly Tee from Pattern Union.    

When I was a little girl, my goal in life was to be a cowgirl! My aunt would tell me that you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl ;) I do love my boots, and I especially love wearing them with skirts. 

I really like the knit top I'm wearing. I used the Elliot Sweater Pattern from Helen's Closet. I lengthened the sleeves, lengthened the front, and eliminated the side slits. The fabric was a great find from Promenade Fabrics in New Orleans. 

I had just a remnant of the black stretch denim left, but it was enough for the Tessuti Fabrics free Libby Aline skirt pattern. I did flat-felled seams on the side seams, and topstitched the pockets, as well as the hem and the center back seam.  

Today, Wednesday, I'm wearing one of my all time favorite dresses. It's the Yuki Dress Pattern from Tessuti Fabrics. I love how the side seams aren't side seams, but angle toward the front. The dress has pockets, always a plus in my book. I also love the scrunchy collar. So easy to wear, just throw on and go. Well, if I had somewhere to go!!! BTW, if you are ever in Chicago, by all means, go by Fishman's fabrics. You would have to feel this fabric to believe it, so soft, just an amazing piece of lightweight wool. They have an incredible selection of remnants that are so well priced.     

Just a couple of notes on the pattern, As you can see from the above picture, the dress hits just above my knee. I didn't want it any shorter, so I finished the hem with a bias binding. 

One of the downsides of side seam pockets is that they can float around on the inside of your garment. A great way to prevent this is to take a piece of scrap ribbon and sew it to each pocket. The pockets will now beautifully stay in place. 

I hope that all of you who happen to drop by are doing well. It's easy to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for ourselves, or feeling deprived. I hope that some happy memories come to you like that of my grandmother for me. When I think of her, I can't help but feel so very blessed.

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